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Homeopathic Materia Medica by Farrington
We have two varieties of the Ranunculus to consider today. These are the RANUNCULUS BULBOSUS and the RANUNCULUS SCELERATUS. Now both of these plants possess a juice or sap which is exceedingly irritating to the skin. When applied locally, it produces erythema followed later by an eruption which at first is vesicular in its character and attended by burning, smarting and itching. If the symptoms continue by reason of the intensity of the action of the drug, ulceration and even gangrene of the parts follow, the gangrene being associated with fever and delirium. This is an extreme picture, yet it is one which may follow the prolonged use of some of the species of the Ranunculus plants.
We shall now consider the RANUNCULUS BULBOSUS, and first as to its action on serous membranes. We may think of Ranunculus bulbosus in inflammation of serous membranes, particularly of the pleura or peritoneum, when there are acute stabbing pains in the chest in the case of pleuritis, and accompanied by an effusion of serum into one or the other cavity, according as it is one or the other membrane inflamed. Accompanying this effusion we find great anxiety, dyspnoea and distress, caused partly by the accumulation of fluid and partly by the anxiety from the pains themselves. Now these are symptoms not commonly known among physicians, yet you will find that here Ranunculus will serve you as well as APIS, BRYONIA, or SULPHUR, or even better than these, if the character of the pains just described is present.
The second heading in the schema on the board is "Muscles." We find Ranunculus acting here as a curative agent. It is especially indicated in rheumatism of the muscles, particularly in muscles about the trunk. Intercostal rheumatism yields far more quickly to this drug than to any other. There is usually a great deal of soreness to touch, and the muscles have a bruised feeling as if they had been pounded.
I know that ACONITE, ARNICA or BRYONIA is often given when Ranunculus is indicated.
ACONITE may be the remedy in pleurodynia when there is high fever (which is not often), especially if you can trace the trouble to exposure to cold after being overheated.
Ranunculus bulbosus may also be used in the case of persons who are subject to stitches about the chest in every change of weather.
Again, it may be used for sore spots remaining in and about the chest after pneumonia. The characteristic sensation attending the Ranunculus soreness is a feeling of subcutaneous ulceration, which is purely subjective. This symptom is also characteristic of PULSATILLA.
Again, Ranunculus may be used for pains about the lungs from adhesions after pleurisy.
The rheumatic pains of Ranunculus are worse in damp weather and particularly from a change of weather or change of temperature. Even a rheumatic headache having this aggravation, may call for Ranunculus.
We may also find it indicated in diaphragmitis when there are sharp shooting pains from the hypochondria and epigastrium through to the back.
Another remedy that I have found of service in this latter disease is CACTUS GRANDIFLORUS, which is an excellent remedy for sharp pains in the diaphragm, particularly if there is a feeling as though a band were tied around the waist just marking out the attachments of the diaphragm to the borders of the ribs below.
Next you should remember Ranunculus bulbosus as a remedy for the bad effects of excesses in drink, in hiccough and even in epileptiform attacks and delirium tremens.
Lastly, we come to the action of the drug on the skin. Ranunculus bulbosus is useful in herpes zoster or zona. Vesicles appear on the skin and are filled with serum and burn. Sometimes these vesicles have a bluish-black appearance. Especially is Ranunculus indicated when the trouble follows the course of the supra-orbital or intercostal nerves and is followed by sharp stitching pains. Here you may compare RHUS TOX., ARSENICUM and MEZEREUM.
Ranunculus may also produce pemphigus. Large blisters form which burst and leave raw surfaces.
Again, you may use Ranunculus in eczema, attended by thickening of the skin and the formation of hard horny scabs.
Here it is similar to ANTIMONIUM CRUDUM, which also has horny excrescences or callosities on the soles of the feet.
The ulcers which Ranunculus causes are flat and are attended with a great deal of stinging pain. The discharge is ichorous.
Lastly, the action of Ranunculus on mucous membranes. It is one of the remedies which are useful in hay fever. You will find that there is smarting in the eyes; the eyelids burn and feel sore ; the nose is stuffed up, especially towards evening, with pressure at the root of the nose and tingling and crawling sensation within its cavity. Sometimes this sensation attacks the posterior nares, causing the patient to hawk and swallow, and endeavor in every way to scratch the affected part. ARSENICUM and SILICEA also have this symptom. You will notice, too, that there is with this hay fever, hoarseness, and very likely sharp stitching pains in and about the chest, general muscular soreness. The neck of the bladder may be affected, producing some burning in passing water.
SULPHUR does not follow Ranunculus well.